Poor communication and language skills due to deafness

Please no judgements.

Deafness can stop us hearing well but obviously it can also affect our speech, communication and language skills.
I think this might be more when people are born with a hearing loss rather than having a hearing loss later in life?

We are all different so some people may not struggle with these things but some might.

I’m just wondering how I could go about improving my communication and language skills as mine are quite poor?

I’ve had poor communication and language skills my whole life and when I left school, it was assessed at age 9 where’s I left school at 16 years old. I went to college and my class were taking Communication Skills Level 4, where’s I couldn’t even pass my Level 1.

I’m a lot older now but I now want to try and improve these things as I had such as bad experience yesterday as a result of my poor communication and language skills plus my deafness on top.

Please no judgements.

I realise we are all in different parts of the world but I’m still interested in hearing peoples answers. I’m in the UK.


@Zebras huge hugs to you from downunder.
Are you able to do any-
Adult Education Courses in the UK?
Any online communication courses?
Or distance education in communication?
Any TAFE courses in communication?
These are just 4 of the ways that are available to us in Aus.



I’ve been looking but none of my colleges seem to offer anything like that but I’m not too sure if I’m looking in the right direction.

I wondered about seeing a speech and language therapist, more for the language side but again, not sure if that’s is the way forward.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Anything that you can do yourself that improves your own situation, you should do regardless of what you think other people think of you, its not their problem its yours, the past has gone by and isn’t relevant, its about what you do next, the first step is realising your problem and reaching out for help and this you have done, I hope you get some useful suggestions that help you, unfortunately there isn’t much help for adults with any sort of mental problem or learning disability in the UK .

I agree, which is sad that adults are left. This is for people who are deaf as well, not just people who have mental health issues and learning difficulties.

I agree but when you start a new job and then get dismissed in a week because they didn’t realise how poor my communication and language skills were. They weren’t even wanting to look into reasonable adjustments.

The organisation is meant to be disability friendly. Felt like I had been run over by a train and totally knocks my confidence.

I’m pretty sure they weren’t allowed to do this but I’m very much a person who doesn’t like to stand up for my rights but there are many people who will sue for unfair dismissal etc. I don’t like to drag out what has happened to me. I’d rather move on and start on something new.


Actors and actresses take speech classes to improve speaking skills.

We speak like we hear. Improving your hearing should improve your speech.

My family told me I slurred words for a long time. Once I got CI’s my speech improved enough that family and friends mentioned it to me.


Have a look at these
They may not be exactly what you feel you need but they are at least free so you can try them and leave them without a financial burden and some ideas from each may add up.


@Zebras I’ve just done a Google search for adult speech therapy online courses in the UK. I did find several options for doing this. You can also find several speech therapy type apps in the App Store they might help you.

Also another thought would be doing ESL online. I found this extremely helpful when doing rehab.

I don’t know if this would be suitable for you? Don’t know if it can be done online. But it looks like they charge a fee. :cry:
Good luck to you Ruth.

Thank you so much



I’ll take a look at all the links and see what is possible.



No judgements at all. I have suffered speech and language problems and delay since I was 4. I was not referred to any sort of speech therapy at all so I still remain the same. Unable to pronounce certain words, especially consonants because they are the words I cannot hear! It completely shatters our confidence and as for your employer dismissing you, that is discrimination! I know this sounds very far fetched but have you spoken to the GP about speech and language referral? Have you checked out this:

Massive hugs to you x


Say whaaaaa? Seriously, you are one of the most erudite, precise, informative and helpful posters here. So, if you have a communication prob, that’s news to me. Not sure what the parameters are, but you sure communicate here on the board like a grad school professional. If you have a language skill issue then call me a STONE, cuz it does not come across here. It can’t be a reading ability either, or you wouldn’t post answers spot-on to the posts…

I totally get that if born deaf, one’s speech could naturally be slurred, mushy or difficult to understand. I’d probably just try streaming (at the highest comfortable volume) a variety of radio talk shows, so you get the interplay of communication, cadence, emotion, etc.

Communication is also inherent personality. So if a person is naturally reticent, or emotionally detached, then folks may think they need “help” communicating. You are actively seeking advice, so I’m guessing that’s not your problem.

Well I’m clueless as a pipe-smoking nun, but I hope you find some exercises to give you more confidence in what you think your communication level is.

(scratching head … cupping chin … pondering … still clueless about any perceived problem you say you have) :thinking:


You definitely have good language skill. much better than 90% of deaf people out there. Believe in yourself, you got the hang of it and i enjoy reading your post from time to time. i took all the English writing courses which was the last 3 courses I needed to take in my first year. my deaf classmate weren’t lucky because they took the placement test scored lower than me, which requires them 2-3 years English classes

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I’m a bit of a weird one.

On paper/written, I do much better than speaking. I have no idea why.

I never watch films because I never understand them.

Thank you.

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I’ve always wondered this because I do seem to drift off when in a group of friends but then when it comes to 1-1, I do so much better.

When I’m in a group, I loose the interest to try and keep up with understanding things so I give up.

EDIT - Should add, the Phonak Roger Microphone/s makes it a lot easier in groups but still not ‘easy’ if that makes sense.


Thank you so much.

My GP has made the decision that because my speech isn’t terrible, that I’m fine. Like with how the UK work, GPs loose money when they refer people. I believe that is the reason as they aren’t qualified to know what I need and don’t need.

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I fully appreciate your comments and sorry you have had a bad experience. You have a lot of strengths and these would be greatly appreciated in the right place for you. I had elocution lessons and constantly got books from the library as a child. Reading helps improve overall comprehension skills to help with the shortfall in hearing where possible. Have you thought of approaching places like RNID for employment. Your written communication skills are excellent. Keep going & good luck.


They’ve put me in contact with http://www.deafunity.org/ so I plan to email today.

I’m not sure why there’s such a difference in my written and spoken. I feel it’s because written, I can quickly Google things and also I re read before I post it / send it off / email etc.


Yes, a speech language pathologist would work on you one on one for speech. Are you sure you need a referral? In Canada you just call them directly. I’d think the trickier part would be finding the right SLP, as they specialize in sightly different directions. If there’s an organization there for the Deaf, they might have some leads on SLPs who have experience with adult speech therapy for D/HoH.

I’d think the next best SLP might be one who has experience in accent reduction, but the hearing element does make it quite different as you need a stronger focus on conscious mouth and tongue positioning when you have no auditory feedback for a particular sound.



I can pay privately for a SLP but the cost is between £80 to £120 per hour which is way too expensive for me to pay so I was hoping for a referral to get it on the NHS.

I had SLP session twice a week from 3 years old until 22 years old. I’m now in my 30s. If I needed it twice a week again, that cost per hour is way too much for me.

Accent Reduction seems interesting. I’ll look it up and learn.

The RNID - Adult Deaf Charity is helping me now.


So, if you can find the right SLP it might be worthwhile asking them directly and being open about what you can afford. They might be able to give advice on getting a referral, or might offer a sliding payment scale or know an organization that does?